A Tragedy in Song: “Hot Nigga” by Bobby Shmurda

Originally posted on M.B. Watson:

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About a week ago, as I enjoyed abnormally slow Starbucks Wi-Fi, two young women walked up to my friends and me. They had a question that I did not expect until after it was asked. It was a cultural question composed of so many layers that I doubt they understood. I’m sure they failed to understand ONLY through lack of trying. That one question opened my already ponderous mind to a sea of worrisome thoughts. What was this awful question?

“Hey, can you guys teach us the Shmoney dance?”

Now, before (or after) you chuckle at how ridiculous my predicament was, understand that the song “Hot Nigga” had been on my mind for awhile. Not only because of how catchy it was or how infectious the featured Schmoney dance is. See, the song had plagued my thoughts because I couldn’t help but view it differently that most of the 8,000,000+…

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someone was defending Wole Soyinka’s flawed stance that we should write in English for the world to read African Literature, in a debate about who between Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Soyinka is right about their stands

Reverse racism, that’s a laugh, and the reason I’m writing a response. There’s no reverse racism in writing using local languages. Racism, is writing in European, imposed languages to appeal to a group that cared so much for African cultures that they brutalised it out of people, and forced them to believe European languages were superior to any other. That is not the case.

Mandarin is the most spoken first language in the world. Spanish is the second, not even English comes close to covering half the world as a second language. If it’s about a wide audience, we should all be writing in Mandarin, and Spanish.

Thinking that the world is interested in African literature is a fallacy. Of all those who claim to be great readers, how many can say they’ve read anything published this decade from Africa that isn’t Chimanda Adichie? Who is only known worldwide because Oprah read her book, and put it on her book club list. If not for Oprah, not enough people would have even known to check for Chimanda, leave alone Half of a Yellow Sun to make it a success in Africa, the world aside. The world doesn’t care for African literature outside of Africa to warrant writing in a language that is used by oppressors to tilt the running of the world in their favour. If they want to read African literature, then they would translate the texts written in local languages to their language, not expect that Africans write in their language in the first place.

Ngugi is right in that African literature has a quality to it when relayed in local languages. The way Swahili stories are told would be deemed effusively illustrative in English; and always the text loses something when written in English when the story is thought of in a different language.

Furthermore, writers should be comfortable with the language they use. Forcing someone to write in a colonial language to suit colonialists and their descendants doesn’t promote African literature in its entirety. Soyinka can write in English all he wants if that’s what makes him comfortable, but he doesn’t see the disadvantage that is catering to people who don’t bother to learn your language, but expect you to learn theirs so they can hand you whatever award they accredit highly for stories you’ve written in their language, and that’s where his argument fails for me.

Lastly, there’s no such thing as reverse racism to imply racism from the opposite end to the other. It’s all racism. To write in African languages isn’t racism that oppresses non-Africans; it’s racism that benefits everyone.

Women want men to realise that they aren’t available without limit to their whims, and desires.
A man goes to hug another man who’s a stranger to him, and suddenly it’s push-back, and demands that the (insert insult here) recognise that he doesn’t know the other like that. But a woman, ‘oh, she’s overreacting, and out to hurt a man, and he was drunk, and he didn’t mean it, and she’s a whore, and lying’. That’s stupid, harmful logic.
Check it, women aren’t chilling about, awaiting with tortured hearts, and libidos to have the attention of a man bestowed upon them. It isn’t a general desire to have men trying to have sex with women. It certainly isn’t a validation of desirability. And it’s not a prize. If one woman wants to be abruptly, with no warning, touched, grabbed, handled by someone, that’s that woman, not every woman. Asking permission to touch a person isn’t that hard. And if you’re scared of rejection, then learn to deal with it.
It’s not at all hard to figure out why men are promptly seen as predators, and violent when they promote, support, and maintain rape culture; and have some women defending, and supporting them in such endeavours.

Men, Sexism and Denial

Originally posted on will this be a problem?:

“Sexism is a big problem in this country…” started a woman.

“NOT ALL OF US ARE SEXIST!” Interrupted the men in a booming chorus.

“Yes, but we need to talk about…”

“But we’re not sexist. We think you’re equal. See? Not sexist. I agree you should get all that stuff you’re asking for.” And thus the men patted themselves on the back for not being sexists and avoided the conversation entirely. After all, it should have been had with all those crazy sexist men out there, not them. Certainly not them.

***

I have something to say. I’m sexist. Before you act all surprised, if you’re a man, so are you. In case the message was lost in that phrasing what I’m saying is that ALL MEN ARE SEXIST.

Before you skewer me in the comments, consider this, sexism isn’t always obvious. You don’t have to slap your wife around…

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Banal Misogyny

Originally posted on Gukira:

We live with unrelenting, terrible, normative misogyny. Indeed, the misogyny we inhabit is so pervasive and so unrelenting, that, as I remarked to a friend, Audre Lorde’s essays from the 70s and 80s feel much too present, much too relevant. It is not simply that we are dealing with an ugly remnant that every so often reminds us of an even uglier time. Rather, it is that the ugliness of then, cloaked in masculine benevolence, is too much with us. And we seem to have lost the ability to recognize it, to name it, to respond to it.

At least this is the way it feels.

I use “banal misogyny” because I want to register something about the moment we inhabit. Something about our ability and desire to see gender work, to see gender differentiation insist on diminishing, infantilizing, and degrading women. It has become too easy to be a…

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Should We Forgive Marvel for That Awful Spider-Woman Cover ?

Originally posted on TIME:

Oh, Marvel, we had such high hopes.

In recent months Marvel has announced that a woman will wield Thor’s hammer for the foreseeable future and revealed at the “Women of Marvel” panel at San Diego Comic-Con that there would be a new Spider-Woman comic series come November. Female fans rejoiced that major characters in the Marvel universe would finally look like them. It was a smart business move for the comic book company: 47% of comic fans are female, and women make up 62% of the Facebook fans of female comic characters (including Black Widow, Elektra and She-Hulk), according to Comics Beat.

But after building up so much good will with the ladies, they had to go and screw it up.

This week, Marvel released to Comic Book Resources the alternate cover (presumably for promotional purposes) for Spider-Woman No. 1. In the picture, the superheroine is in a…ahem…compromising position. As

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Even Villains Get a Fanbase

I did something this past three months that really has no good reasoning behind it after a while. I saw a gif set of two guys who were squishy, and seemingly lustful, and when I followed the tags on the set, got into the Zankie tag, and I was pleased. I thought it was real, and if you look at clips on youtube, you will believe it’s real. Took me a few weeks to realise it wasn’t the case.

Zach, and Frankie are contestant on the US Big Brother S16. They were very touchy feely, and sexual-like for most of the show; and they sold it very well when they were together. Their pairing managed to gain a very strong, near-rabid following for the usual reasons most men on TV are shipped by fans. They are white; one of them is gay, and the other is ambiguous at best, straight at most; and they are close. Unless it’s sterek, in which case, it’s only because they are white, and look like the kind of people the fans want together.

I bought what they were selling because what I got to see was edited by fans. When I went on daily motion and saw clips centreing on the pair. Then, I noted something off with the pairing. They were only into portraying their pairing as possibly romantic/lustful when they were together; but when they were apart, they couldn’t have cared less. Set aside the bad-mouthing, back-stabbing, completely unnecessary character assassinations; they couldn’t have cared. They flirted heavily with other people, and acted as if their time together didn’t happen. They gave off a vibe that they weren’t organically into each other in an eros manner. It didn’t take more than a week to figure out that they had probably set up the pairing since they are both net savvy, and probably know of how easily some of the US netizens can make a movement out of two men looking like them remotely sharing space, and saying things like “If I did, I would.”

It’s not the hardest thing in the world to see. US netizens have fetishized gay pairings so extensively, that people whose success hinges on public viewership will use it to extend their run as far as possible. Unfortunately for Zach, and Frankie, keeping up appearances 24/7 isn’t something amateurs can do easily. They should have taken some training beforehand, maybe had some sticky notes around the house to remind them about it. Maybe then they’d have sold a huge majority on their pairing being genuine. The most I give their partnership is a friendship; and a tentative one at that, cause if Zach, at most doesn’t get to know about the manipulation he faced from Frankie, or doesn’t care, then it goes far. If Frankie doesn’t care for the nasty things so-called friends of Zach’s have said about him, then it goes far. Either way, both of them leave the ‘reality’ TV show with a fanbase.

Zach has gotten a reputation amongst most fans of the show as a cool, cute, funny guy. These fans may recognise his shitty, abusive actions but they rarely take them into consideration enough. Zach has disparaged women for no good reason, accused a woman for refusing to acquiesce to a bigoted man’s whims when she made it clear she has no interest in said bigoted man, and lies. A lot of people say the lying is part of the game; however, it doesn’t excuse his behaviour. He’s shitty. He also has a great, inviting personality, for most people.

Frankie is a self-involved, attention-seeking, egoistical, boundary-crossing bigot. He says nasty things, attacks people’s characters for no good reason, and insists that he knows how things are, when he doesn’t. He rarely, if ever, takes responsibility for his actions, but certainly feels betrayed when others make moves against him. And he has stans.

Stans are fans on steroids.

Frankie has them in droves, and they are annoying as hell. They defend every bad thing he does, and says, and dwell on the few good things in between to such an extent that it wouldn’t be a long shot to imagine they would do well as publicists for the US government.

They prove that villains get a fanbase, and it doesn’t mean they are right; it means they are on one side.

Sexualized Saturdays: Teen Wolf Doesn’t Have a “Girlfriend Character” Problem

sikujui:

Mmhmm

Originally posted on Lady Geek Girl and Friends:

DraedenWhile many fans dislike Teen Wolf‘s Braeden and Malia for being female love interests, I think that these two characters are fantastically written and are far more than their romantic storylines would imply. Today I want to defend Malia and Braeden against the most common criticism these two characters receive, which is that Malia and Braeden are just “girlfriend characters”.

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Know them by their tweets?

Originally posted on Abagond:

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Roses laid on the street where Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was gunned down by a White police officer, now on paid leave

Some of what public figures in the US have tweeted about Michael Brown and Ferguson (from August 9th to 22nd 2014), here listed in order of Twitter fame:

@justinbieber

Justin Bieber @justinbieber
NOTHING

@BarackObama

Barack Obama @BarackObama 12 Aug 2014
“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking.” —President Obama. Read the full statement: http://ofa.bo/s0cW

@taylorswift13

Taylor Swift @taylorswift13
NOTHING

@jtimberlake

Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake
1 RETWEET

@Oprah

Oprah Winfrey @Oprah
NOTHING

@Eminem

Eminem @Eminem
NOTHING

@MileyCyrus

Miley Cyrus @MileyCyrus
NOTHING

@Drake

Drake @Drake
NOTHING

@Beyonce

Beyoncé Knowles @Beyonce
NOTHING

@SnoopDogg

Snoop Dogg @SnoopDogg 12 Aug 2014
mike brown rip !! God help us http://instagram.com/p/rmxWv-P9EH/

@kanyewest

Kanye West @kanyewest
1 RETWEET

@johnlegend

John Legend @johnlegend 12 Aug 2014
The fact that the small town Ferguson police dept has all this equipment should disturb us all. Priorities.

@Pharrell

Pharrell Williams @Pharrell
NOTHING

@BillCosby

Bill…

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Thoughts

Teen Wolf had it’s season 4 finale this week, with some expected gun action, and growling-cum-roaring. It also had Derek, who’s been iffy all season, coming through as an evolved wolf. It also had a lot of Sterek fans in a tizzy because once again, their pairing wasn’t portrayed as true on the show. Sterek fans tryng to make fanon canon have been a bane of my Teen Wolf watching experience.

I hadn’t planned on watching Teen Wolf(TW) at all; because it started midst the Twilight Saga fever, and I had had enough of people being so into wolves in their fanfiction, and fiction all around that I didn’t care to watch a show about them. Despite not being a fan of the show, or watching it, I found that my social media profile feeds had information on the show. And most of that information centred on how Sterek was a one true pairing(otp) of the show. I saw so many posts explaining how Derek and Stiles made the perfect couple, and how the cast and crew was supportive of the pairing, and promoting it, and therefore implying it would be canon. Canon is an event that is true of the story.

As the years went by, and Sterek fans became more insistent that the pairing had to be canon, and threatening to boycott the show if they didn’t get their way; information countering Sterek showed up on my feeds. More, and more people refuted the claims that Sterek was canon, and maintained that it was fanon, that is, true in fandom, and its fans. They explained how Sterek fans were so quick to ignore the more plausible pairings of Scott, and either Stiles, or Derek; and how in rejecting any het pairing of either characters they were being misogynistic, and rude.

This year, I was bored, and I decided to watch the show. I kept in mind to look out for any indication of Sterek, cause despite the opposition, the fandom sells itself like a solid, cool community. I watched the series in a week; and not once dd I see this great love between Derek, and Stiles. And I felt had.

If there’s anything between Sterek, it’s Scott. The interactions of the characters are centred on Scott majority of the time. Anything in regards to Sterek is so negligible, you could blink and miss it. Personally, watched it all the way through, and saw not a thing endearing about them. Derek is disregarding of Stiles half of the time, and Stiles is disparaging of Derek majority of the time. And Stiles also asks Scott why they can’t let Derek die, because that’s how tired of Derek he is.

This season brought to focus the points of the anti-Sterek, and other opposition of the push to make a fanon pairing canon. The fandom has a loud, pervasive, significant number of members that are bigoted, and horribly misleading about other characters, and their endorsement of the relationship. When Stiles and Malia got together, they were complaints that they’d come together too quickly, and as such wouldn’t last. They disparaged, and slandered Braeden’s character when Derek first took care of her, and then kept insisting she would turn on him, and when they went sexual, they decided she was a villain and would harm Derek spectacularly. When none of that happened, they decided that Malia was abusive to Stiles, and Derek, and Braeden had broken up. The intensity with which they maintain that their pairing is canon, and should be is annoying in the least, destructive after perusing through a few posts.

The other side of Sterek’s fandom shouldn’t have to suffer the effects of the negative side, but unfortunately they do. I try to differentiate between the two, and not disparage the side that finds the aesthetics of the characters enough to ship them. Shipping is the pairing, or partnering of characters that have some sort of connection, or aesthetic that complement each other.

I see nothing of Derek and Stiles that’s ship-worthy in a sexual, or romantic manner, aside from the aesthetics that fit the generally pushed upon idea that the best of characterisations look white, adorable, dark-haired(in most cases), pleasant, and male. Good luck finding a lesbian pairing of two canonically het characters with little interaction, or friendly regard for one another with a huge backing a la Sterek. Not even Arthur and Merlin fans are so rabid. And at least John, and Sherlock have a running joke going on in the show. That side of Sterek is a disappointment.